January 31, 2011 - by
Preview: Noles Vs. Wake Forest

Jan. 31, 2011

Seminoles.com Gameday
Tuesday, February 1st, 2011 – 7:00 p.m. EST
Tucker Center | Tallahassee, FL
Tickets – Available | Seating Chart
TV:  TheACC.com | Radio: Seminole Sports Network
Game Notes
Key Players

Chris Singleton

Min / Game

Travis McKie

Pts. / Game
Ast. / Game
Reb. / Game
FG %
3PT %
FT %
Head to Head

Florida State Seminoles

(15-6) (5-2 ACC)

Wake Forest Demon Deacons

(8-13) (1-5 ACC)

Scoring ‘Noles Deacons
FG %
3PT %
FT %
Defense ‘Noles Deacons

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.- Sean Grimm, Special to Seminoles.com
The Florida State men’s basketball team will look to try and climb back into the top spot in the ACC tonight when the squad faces the Wake Forest Demon Deacons (8-13, 1-5).

The Seminoles (15-6, 5-2) have won four of their last five ACC games but are coming off a loss for the first time since January 8. Head coach Leonard Hamilton thinks that the Clemson loss can turn out to be a good lesson in the long run.

“Sometimes the University of Hard Knocks is one of the best teachers, you get a hard knock and you learn from it, “said Hamilton.

Tonight’s game gives the Seminoles a chance to bounce back against a Wake Forest team that has struggled this year, especially in conference play. The Deacons are 1-5 in the ACC. Florida State, meanwhile, currently sits at 5-2 in conference play behind only Duke and North Carolina.

For the Seminoles to get a win tonight, they need to come out strong on the defensive end. Known for their defensive prowess, that trademark suffocating D was not as clearly in evidence in the road trip to Clemson on Saturday.

However, the Seminoles also need to find an answer on offense as well after shooting 32 percent against the Tigers.

“We have to execute our offense. We have to do a lot better in terms of what we’ve done. We were much more efficient on the offensive end during that four game winning streak and we have to get back to it,” said Hamilton.

Point guard Derwin Kitchen is a key ingredient to the offense’s success and he knows he needs to play aggressively in order to give his team the best shot to win. In the wins over Duke, Miami and Boston College, Kitchen was all over the court creating plays in every way for the Seminoles.

Against Clemson’s smothering defense Kitchen accounted for six points, six rebounds, one assist and no steals. Compare that to FSU’s big win over Duke, where the senior racked up 22 points, 10 rebounds, three assists as well as three steals.

“I’m just gonna try to get back to what I’ve been doing the past few games,” said Kitchen in regards to how he can push the Seminole offense down the stretch.

The Seminoles will see a Demon Deacon team tonight that has already allowed 90 plus points four times this year. However, Hamilton says that fact doesn’t change how the Seminoles will come out with their offensive game plan.

“We still are who we are. We are the same team. We’re going to play as aggressively as we possibly can to our strengths. We would love to average 100 points a game, but that’s not who we are,” said Hamilton.

Hamilton also noted Wake Forest’s strengths and talent and claims the Demon Deacons deserve their share of credit as they did hang with Duke for much of the game in their recent match up with the Blue Devils.

“You have to give them a lot of credit, because they just now seem like they’re starting to figure out how they need to play with the talent they have,” said Hamilton. “We have to be able to defend their strengths, and still take advantage of our strengths.”

Junior forward Chris Singleton knows how important this game is for his team.

“It’s very important if we want to continue the way we’re going. We’ve won the last four out of five games, and we thought that was a turning point, but we just have to keep doing more and staying at it,” said Singleton.

NOTES – FSU Sports Information
Florida State, which has won four of its last five ACC games, plays host to Wake Forest on Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2001 at 7:00 at the Donald L. Tucker Center in Tallahassee. The Seminoles are a perfect 4-0 at home this season in the ACC with wins over Clemson (Dec. 12, 75-69), No. 1 Duke (Jan. 12, 66-61), NC State (Jan. 15, 84-71) and Boston College (Jan. 22, 67-51) and are 9-3 at home in conference play in the last two season. In addition, the Seminoles enter Tuesday’s game against the Demon Deacons having won 10 of their last 13 ACC games dating to a Feb. 14, 2010 win over Boston College and have won seven of their last eight ACC home games dating to a Feb. 6, 2010 victory over Miami at home. Florida State’s game against Wake Forest is its first of two games against the Demon Deacons this season as they will travel to play them in Winston Salem on Feb. 19. Florida State’s game against Wake Forest is one of only three home games for the Seminoles during the month of February as they play three games at home and four games on the road (all in conference play). Following Tuesday’s game against Wake Forest, the Seminoles travel to Chapel Hill, N.C. for a Super Bowl Sunday game at North Carolina on Feb. 6, at 2:00 p.m.

Junior forward Chris Singleton is an All-American candidate, a candidate for the Naismith Award as the nation’s top player, the top candidate for the Henry Iba Corinthian Award as the nation’s top defender, an All-ACC candidate and the top candidate to win the ACC Defensive Player of the Year award for the second consecutive season. He is one of only two players (also Reggie Jackson of Boston College) who have earned ACC Player of the Week honors multiple times this season.

Junior All-American candidate Chris Singleton is one of only two players in the ACC to rank in the top 10 of six different categories – steals (2nd), blocked shots (7th), rebounding (7th), scoring (8th), defensive rebounds (8th) and offensive rebounds (10th). Only Reggie Jackson of Boston College joins Singleton as ACC players ranked in the top 10 of six different ACC statistical categories.

Florida State, the nation’s top defensive team led by the nation’s top defensive player in Chris Singleton, is the only team in the nation to rank in the top 35 in field goal percentage defense (1st), blocked shots per game (8th), 3-point field goal percentage defense (11th), scoring defense (23rd) and steals per game (31st).

Florida State's National and ACC Defensive Rankings
Category                      Statistic    NCAA Rank    ACC Rank
Field Goal Pct. Defense       .351         1            1
Blocked Shots Per Game        6.9          8            1
3-Point Field Goal Defense    .293         11           1
Scoring Defense               60.6         23           2
Steals Per Game               8.7          31           2

…Defeat Wake Forest and win its sixth ACC game of the season. It would mark the school record sixth consecutive season the Seminoles have won at least six conference in a single season;
…Defeat Wake Forest and become the first team to defeat each of the three new coaches in the ACC for the 2010-11 season (Brad Brownell, Clemson, Steve Donahue, Boston College and Jeff Bzdelik, Wake Forest).

Florida State is the second winningest program in the ACC in the last three years (since the start of the 2008-09 season) in total ACC regular season and ACC Tournament games. The Seminoles have won 27 games against ACC competition. Florida State played in the 2009 ACC Championship game and is one of only two teams in the ACC (they are joined by Duke) who has finished with double digit wins and in the top four of the final ACC standings in BOTH of the last two seasons. Including their five wins in ACC play this season, the Seminoles average nine wins per season with 10 games plus the ACC Tournament still remaining on their schedule.

Last 3 Years (ACC Regular Season + ACC Tournament)
Team             W    L    Notes
Duke             36   9    Three ACC Championship game appearances
Florida State    27   16   One ACC Championship game appearance
North Carolina   24   18   Zero ACC Championship game appearances

Florida State is the third winningest program in the ACC in the last three years (since the start of the 2008-09 season) in total games played with 62 wins. The Seminoles averaged 23.5 wins per season with records of 25-10 (2008-09) and 22-10 (2009-10) in the last two seasons and have won 15 of their first 21 games of the 2010-11 season. Florida State enters Tuesday’s game against Wake Forest having won 15 of 21 games this season (.714 winning percentage) and 20 of their last 30 games since defeating Boston College on Feb.14, 2010.

Florida State enters Tuesday’s game against Wake Forest as one of only two teams in the ACC this season that has played at least four ranked teams and is one of only two teams in the league that has defeated two ranked teams. The Seminoles have played four ranked teams (No. 14 Florida, No. 2 Ohio State, No. 15 Baylor and No. 1 Duke) and defeated two of them (No. 15 Baylor on Dec. 25, 68-61 and No. 1 Duke on Jan. 16, 66-61). Only Maryland has played as many ranked teams (4, 0-4) and only Duke has defeated as many ranked teams (2, 2-0) so far this season among league teams. Florida State has won two games against ranked teams this season – with the entire ACC having defeated a total of seven ranked teams, meaning the Seminoles have won nearly 33 percent of the games against ranked teams among the 12 ACC teams.

Florida State enters its game against Wake Forest on Tuesday with 10 ACC road wins in the last three seasons – the second highest total of road wins in conference play since the start of the 2008-09 season. The Seminoles were 5-3 on the road in 2009-10 with wins at Georgia Tech, at Boston College, at Virginia, at North Carolina and at Miami. Earlier this season the Seminoles won at Miami to earn their first road conference win of the 2010-11 season.

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